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PRESS RELEASE

November 16, 2005

Deena Reppen
(850) 488-5394 or
Jennifer Fennell
(850) 245-0413

Governor Bush Announces Florida's High School Graduation Rate
Rising graduation rates and falling dropout rates extend multi-year trends

TALLAHASSEE — Governor Jeb Bush and Education Commissioner John L. Winn today announced a rise in Florida's graduation rate to 71.9 percent in 2004-05, continuing consecutive annual increases since 1998-99 when the rate stood at 60.2 percent. This year marked the highest number of graduates the state has ever produced, surpassing last year's total by more than 6,000 graduates. Additionally, Florida's annual high school dropout rate steadily declined for the sixth straight year, dropping to 2.8 percent.

"Our students are dreaming bigger and performing at higher levels than ever before thanks to Florida's educators," said Governor Bush. "Record numbers of high school students taking AP courses and the SAT, combined with a steady rise in graduation rates, demonstrate that Florida has created learning environments grounded in student achievement and aspiration."

Florida's graduation rate was 71.9 percent in 2004-05, up more than 11 percent over the last six years. Since 1998-99, graduation rates for students from all ethnic groups have risen and annual dropout rates for all students, particularly minority students, have declined. During the past year, 39 of 67 school districts saw an increase in their graduation rate. The three districts showing the greatest one-year increase were Glades, Franklin and Manatee counties.

"The trend lines for Florida's high school graduation rate are continuing in the right direction," said Commissioner Winn. "Florida's comprehensive and rigorous calculation method assures we are capturing and measuring the most accurate graduation rate possible."

The Florida Department of Education bases its graduation rate on data that follows every student from ninth grade to graduation, yielding a more precise calculation. Florida stands alone nationally in its practice of documenting individual student records to determine a true, four-year graduation rate. A 2005 report released by the National Governors Association cited Florida as a national leader and model for calculating graduation rates.

The decline in Florida's high school dropout rate is attributed to continuous improvement
by minority students. From the 2003-04 school year to 2004-05, dropout rates for African-American, Asian, Hispanic and multiracial students decreased. Hispanic students showed the greatest improvement in dropout rates.

The difference between white and minority dropout rates narrowed further in 2004-05, reflecting an ongoing trend since 1998-99. Ethnic groups tracked during the last six years showed African-American and Hispanic students attaining the greatest improvement. During this time period, the difference in dropout rates between African-American and white students narrowed from 2.4 points to 1.2 points, while the gap between Hispanic and white students narrowed from 4.1 points to 1.1 points.

The results for Florida's statewide four-year graduation rate since 1998-99 are shown in the following graph:

From 60.2% in 1998-99 to 71.9% in 2004-05

The following table shows statewide results by race for the same period:

  White Black Hispanic Asian Am. Indian Multi-racial Total
1998-99 66.9% 48.7% 52.8% 73.4% 61.7% 64.7% 60.2%
1999-00 69.4% 50.6% 53.7% 77.4% 65.1% 64.8% 62.3%
2000-01 71.2% 51.9% 56.0% 77.5% 68.8% 68.4% 63.8%
2001-02 75.9% 54.9% 60.1% 82.0% 70.0% 74.1% 67.9%
2002-03 78.1% 54.2% 61.1% 81.0% 72.1% 73.8% 69.0%
2003-04 80.1% 57.3% 64.0% 82.3% 73.2% 78.1% 71.6%
2004-05 80.8% 57.1% 64.5% 82.2% 73.3% 77.7% 71.9%

The following chart and table show Florida's annual high school dropout rates by race/ethnicity from 1998-99 through 2004-05.

Florida High School Dropout Rates, 1998-99 through 2004-05

Line graph. For details, please contact the DOE Press Office at 245-0413

Ethnic Group 1998-99 1999-00 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 Decline since 1998-99
Am. Indian 4.8 3.7 3.1 2.5 2.8 2.9 2.9 - 1.9
Asian 2.8 2.2 2.1 1.7 1.8 1.6 1.5  -1.3
Black 6.6 5.5 4.7 3.9 4.1 3.6 3.5  -3.1
Hispanic 8.3 5.9 4.7 3.8 3.6 3.7 3.4  -4.9
Multiracial 4.2 3.7 3.0 2.2 2.2 2.2 1.8  -2.4
White 4.2 3.2 3.1 2.6 2.5 2.3 2.3  -1.9
Total 5.4 4.6 3.8 3.2 3.1 2.9 2.8  -2.6

 

The next table shows graduation rates for Florida's school districts from 1998-99 through 2004-05.

Public High School Graduation Rates for Florida’s School Districts
  1998-99 1999-00 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03 2003-04 2004-05
ALACHUA     63.3% 63.7% 61.2% 66.4% 67.5% 68.8% 69.6%
BAKER       55.7% 54.3% 55.1% 60.8% 67.3% 68.2% 72.2%
BAY         55.9% 65.9% 68.3% 70.3% 76.6% 75.4% 78.1%
BRADFORD    60.4% 67.4% 70.8% 75.2% 74.7% 70.5% 76.1%
BREVARD     64.0% 80.4% 86.8% 88.5% 88.4% 91.7% 91.5%
BROWARD     53.5% 63.9% 62.3% 65.2% 62.7% 66.2% 67.1%
CALHOUN     83.5% 90.4% 86.8% 86.8% 87.8% 90.5% 94.3%
CHARLOTTE   68.4% 71.7% 74.7% 75.8% 68.0% 80.3% 76.7%
CITRUS      70.8% 72.3% 73.6% 71.2% 75.3% 76.9% 73.3%
CLAY        65.3% 65.9% 67.3% 70.9% 75.4% 73.8% 75.1%
COLLIER     63.0% 63.3% 64.5% 68.2% 67.6% 72.5% 74.3%
COLUMBIA    63.6% 61.8% 59.5% 68.1% 73.1% 75.6% 74.7%
DADE        53.2% 52.2% 53.9% 55.7% 57.9% 60.6% 59.9%
DESOTO      62.7% 67.5% 64.8% 69.7% 66.2% 66.3% 63.5%
DIXIE       60.5% 71.2% 73.8% 75.1% 63.8% 72.8% 66.5%
DUVAL       58.7% 57.4% 55.9% 61.0% 63.7% 67.2% 65.5%
ESCAMBIA    62.6% 65.2% 65.2% 69.9% 64.9% 71.3% 73.2%
FLAGLER     63.5% 64.4% 67.4% 72.2% 81.3% 79.4% 79.7%
FRANKLIN    71.2% 63.2% 65.8% 57.9% 72.8% 71.1% 80.0%
GADSDEN     46.0% 50.7% 51.0% 52.4% 48.1% 43.1% 45.9%
GILCHRIST   64.1% 55.4% 66.5% 69.6% 76.8% 81.2% 85.4%
GLADES      66.7% 51.0% 54.8% 54.7% 59.4% 54.8% 67.1%
GULF        80.0% 83.0% 81.5% 83.8% 87.8% 93.8% 91.4%
HAMILTON    54.3% 70.4% 59.5% 67.9% 61.5% 60.7% 65.7%
HARDEE      65.0% 65.5% 57.6% 67.6% 62.0% 72.2% 66.3%
HENDRY      66.7% 59.8% 50.5% 52.1% 63.9% 69.6% 69.3%
HERNANDO    68.7% 67.4% 67.8% 74.0% 77.3% 79.5% 74.5%
HIGHLANDS   70.0% 64.7% 68.6% 58.6% 66.9% 71.9% 72.8%
HILLSBOROUGH 69.5% 71.4% 74.4% 77.5% 75.8% 79.3% 79.5%
HOLMES      76.6% 73.5% 79.2% 79.8% 85.4% 79.6% 80.6%
INDIAN RIVER 65.2% 64.9% 65.9% 78.9% 76.1% 82.1% 85.3%
JACKSON     58.1% 49.8% 53.0% 59.6% 76.5% 77.1% 78.6%
JEFFERSON   62.6% 65.3% 78.8% 64.5% 71.8% 64.9% 68.1%
LAFAYETTE   80.6% 65.5% 58.0% 69.0% 79.5% 80.0% 79.4%
LAKE        65.0% 66.3% 67.5% 68.7% 73.0% 72.1% 72.2%
LEE         69.4% 67.8% 65.9% 66.0% 68.3% 70.7% 69.4%
LEON        64.7% 67.3% 64.2% 74.3% 75.8% 79.8% 79.8%
LEVY        61.2% 65.9% 55.7% 57.0% 63.5% 67.4% 64.8%
LIBERTY     71.7% 72.7% 82.0% 77.5% 90.7% 89.8% 90.4%
MADISON     67.5% 56.3% 68.4% 63.8% 68.0% 68.7% 63.0%
MANATEE     56.2% 61.4% 65.2% 68.9% 73.8% 75.3% 81.5%
MARION      57.9% 60.3% 65.2% 69.1% 70.6% 73.1% 72.3%
MARTIN      60.6% 83.3% 85.4% 84.4% 85.1% 86.8% 84.9%
MONROE      71.0% 72.0% 68.5% 74.2% 73.9% 75.2% 76.7%
NASSAU      73.7% 67.9% 55.1% 76.7% 79.5% 81.1% 85.2%
OKALOOSA    77.1% 77.5% 76.8% 83.7% 83.7% 82.9% 85.2%
OKEECHOBEE  62.7% 64.3% 63.6% 67.6% 67.3% 60.5% 62.5%
ORANGE      51.3% 49.5% 59.8% 68.3% 68.5% 72.7% 73.8%
OSCEOLA     55.7% 58.9% 58.4% 66.1% 66.7% 64.6% 67.7%
PALM BEACH  58.2% 63.6% 64.9% 66.6% 66.0% 65.9% 69.0%
PASCO       63.5% 64.8% 65.9% 71.7% 74.9% 75.9% 76.5%
PINELLAS    65.3% 64.3% 64.4% 66.4% 69.0% 70.8% 70.1%
POLK        53.3% 55.3% 52.6% 66.9% 65.7% 71.6% 70.5%
PUTNAM      65.8% 61.2% 62.9% 71.1% 79.5% 80.2% 78.1%
ST. JOHNS   72.0% 74.9% 77.1% 76.1% 78.2% 78.3% 76.8%
ST. LUCIE 63.5% 62.9% 69.6% 77.0% 76.8% 79.5% 73.6%
SANTA ROSA  75.4% 73.5% 75.4% 85.5% 83.3% 84.8% 84.5%
SARASOTA    63.0% 63.4% 70.3% 71.8% 76.4% 77.8% 81.7%
SEMINOLE    63.3% 67.0% 70.9% 77.8% 81.4% 84.0% 81.3%
SUMTER      71.4% 74.8% 73.1% 72.1% 79.8% 81.2% 75.7%
SUWANNEE    60.6% 57.7% 60.7% 71.2% 72.3% 69.1% 62.0%
TAYLOR      61.4% 55.1% 58.2% 68.7% 71.2% 74.1% 78.7%
UNION       61.0% 58.8% 63.2% 78.4% 67.1% 79.2% 84.1%
VOLUSIA     70.1% 74.9% 77.0% 81.5% 80.1% 83.0% 83.0%
WAKULLA     76.2% 73.7% 72.5% 81.2% 83.6% 84.7% 85.5%
WALTON      68.9% 75.4% 72.1% 69.9% 71.3% 75.2% 77.8%
WASHINGTON  65.9% 69.0% 70.5% 70.1% 66.8% 70.8% 68.5%
STATE 60.2% 62.3% 63.8% 67.9% 69.0% 71.6% 71.9%